Joseph Pilates was quoted “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young”
Our bodies are amazing and they put up with a lot. We abuse them with poor food choices, with sedentary lifestyles and yet we are surprised when we get an injury. Often these injuries don’t just happen out of the blue. That tight and painful back or (insert what aches……!) would have built up over years, or even decades. We are not even aware our posture has deteriorated. Our amazing body compensates for a while, using not quite the correct muscles, but there comes a time when we get a bit of tightness, this becomes a bit of a niggle and then this can progress to pain. The other cause that can happen, we lift something oddly, or we slip and the next day we are in pain. When younger our muscles are more resilient, more flexible and heal faster, if our body does not have good posture or our muscles are weaker, our body is less able to cope with this movement.
We often spend more time helping others than ourselves. Or spend more money buying and maintaining a car, which can cost thousands to buy and maintain, plus depreciate thousands in just a few short years. It could be an spending money on an expensive holiday or clothes. Why not change the priority; we are living longer, so we need to look after our selves. To maintain our body. After the age of 30 we lose lean muscle mass by 3-5% per decade. With this reduction in muscle, it makes it harder to lift heavy objects, to walk easily up a steep hill and importantly to also support the body with good posture. (Our alignment or posture is controlled by our extremely important stabilising muscles.) If you see a silhouette of someone and not their face, you can often guess their age based on their posture. Think of the stooped 80 year old.
So how do you change this? With strengthening exercises such as Pilates. The advantage of Pilates over more traditional exercises, we make sure you are using the correct alignment and muscle recruitment sequence. This is particularly important as you age, as our soft tissue structures such as muscles and ligament take longer to heal. We make sure that the joints maintain a good range of motion, this makes it easier to do simple functional thinks reach for an overhead cupboard, get up and down off the floor, do gardening, live pain free!
I’m very fortunate to have clients recommend Pilates to their friends and family, and some follow through and start Pilates. But there are others who don’t and their reasons for not starting Pilates are often its too costly and or they don’t have time. Or they have tried Pilates and had a bad experience with someone not very well qualified. So if you are not doing Pilates regularly and it has been recommended by family, friend or health practitioner, why wait? If you are doing Pilates with me, or have done it in the past and I have given you Pilates homework, find the time usually 15 minutes daily. That is usually how much time the homework takes. Your body will thank you.